Pompous Circumstances lead to wonderful experience at "Pomp and Circumstance"

The loud and more than slightly obnoxious Exit Theatre usher repeatedly screamed for those with “green tickets” to line up on the right for “Pomp and Circumstances.” Actually he meant to usher us into an enjoyable father and son, legal, work ethic drama entitled “Pomp and Circumstance.” Written and directed, by David Rouda, this Fringe Festival entrant glows with modern twists on Shakespearean and biblical conundrums.

Alliterative allusions abound for this cast of 15, when John D. Cornwell (of “Not Even a Mouse”) and Joe Madero (from local productions of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and “One Flew Over the Cukoos Nest”) perform as Zach and Max Ebersohn, a Jewish father and son legal team. Zach is struggling to step out of the shadow of his famous but still practicing father and faces an uncertain future at the hands of the law firm’s new senior partner Barb (played by Dorothy Gallagher)

Zach enlists the unwilling aid of Diane (Amanda Caitlin Sykes just finishing her first year in ACT’s MFA program) and takes two cases simultaneously: one, the case of an Othello (Wendell H. Wilson) goaded into actually killing his Desdemona onstage; the other a case of an Orthodox Jewish couple Randy (Robin Schild) and Shayna (Heather Gordon) Kershner, driven to derision (and legal action) by the explosive outcome of an overdose of erectile dysfunction (ED) curatives, leading to an ecstatic, erotic and slightly unorthodox courtroom reading of Solomon’s “Song of Songs.” Strong performances by Rick Baskin, Mikal Britt, Paul Gerrior, Dean Loosbrock, Liz Marks, Kim Sobel, David Stewart, and Michael Zebulon round out the show.

David Rouda’s Shtikel Productions isn’t new to the Fringe. Last year his play “Sperm Warfare” won “Best of the Fringe Festival Critic’s Award.” Shtikel Productions (www.shtikle.com) could be this year’s legal team to watch. You’ll have two more chances to catch it Saturday September 16th at 2:30 PM and Sunday September 17th at 8:30 PM.

Stay tuned, following the festival David Rouda plans local and Los Angeles runs of Pomp and Circumstance.

-S. Michael Perlmutter

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